We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Google Sued by Frenchman Caught on Street View in Embarrasing Pose

The Internet search leader is now being sued over a Street View image that shows an unidentified man in France urinating in his own yard.

Google is getting an earful from a French villager concerned about -- what else -- an invasion of privacy.

Already facing heavy criticism about changes to its privacy policy that allow the Internet search leader to delve deeper into the lives of its users, Google is now being sued over a Street View image that shows an unidentified man in France urinating in his own yard.

The resulting photo, the man contends, has made him a laughing stock in his small village in the Maine-et-Loire district in northwestern France. Even though Google blurred out the man's face, as is common practice for Street View images that capture a human face, the man is still easily identifiable to village residents who know him well.

The man is seeking 10,000 euros in damages, arguing that Google violated his right to privacy. The man is also demanding the offending photo be removed from Google Maps' Street View feature, according to Ouest France (translation).

The French whiz master is just one of numerous people caught in embarrassing or bizarre situations by Google's Street View, such as an apparently naked man emerging from the trunk of a car, couples kissing, and men entering "adult entertainment" stores. Google's Street View has also caught several people in embarrassing situations in other parts of the world, including the Canary Islands, Spain, and the U.K.

Google has faced criticism in the past for taking Street View photos that feature residential yards. In 2009, Google had to reshoot Street View images for 12 Japanese cities after complaints that the Street View cars were mounted too high and shooting over fences into private homes. To appease disgruntled residents, Google lowered its cameras by 16 inches for the Japanese Street View do over.

Google was also sued by a Pittsburgh couple in 2008 after the couple's home appeared in Street View. The suit's primary complaints were that Google violated the homeowners' privacy, trespassed onto their property, and acted negligently. A judge later threw out the lawsuit.

A court in Angers, France, is due to make a ruling on the Street View urination complaint on March 15.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals: Get bargains on smartphones, tablets, laptops and more

IDG UK Sites

What the Internet of Things will look like in 2015: homes will get smarter, people might get fitter

IDG UK Sites

See how Trunk's animated ad helped Ade Edmondson plug The Car Buying Service

IDG UK Sites

Yosemite tips: Complete Guide to OS X Yosemite